No, I am not announcing my intentions to quit or take a break from blogging. In fact my drafts is still stuffed to the brim with stuff I’m working on, and I’ve got a couple of interview translations in the release pipe as well. This is just a little sit-down chat/therapy session for me, as I near the end of the first leg of my final year in university (whether I continue into postgrad/masters will be up to future me to decide). Also I feel like I owe at least a little to my readers, for having not putting anything out for more than a month.
Just a quick note, in regards to this new development. 2017 was a relatively spotty year for this blog: while my upload frequency has somewhat dropped, the quality and diversity of coverage I was able to afford has expanded. I’ve published and co-commissioned interviews and transcripts, extended essays, in addition to my usual collection of thought pieces, summaries and capsule reviews.
Not sure where I heard it, but the perfect completed anime to favourite anime ratio is a clean-cut 10:1: meaning that now that I’ve completed over 200 anime in total (according to MAL at least), I get to update my favourite anime to a list of 20. And that’s good news and bad news.
As common courtesy, I shall extend my praising hand towards a few bloggers who have intrigued (and shamed) me with their writings. I suppose I left it boiling there long enough, so I could use this opportunity to write a few notes about this blog’s 1st birthday as well.
As the nominees, you will:
Acknowledge the person who nominated you (and include a link to her/his/their blog)
Share 7 things about yourself
Nominate 5 bloggers (I searched around the web, the number here usually switch between 5, 7 or 10, so take your pick of your lucky number.)
Desire is an individualistic emotional construct that can almost ironically be considered the direct sibling of society-binding cultural norms, that indoctrinates individuals into adopting a collective mindset that does not stray far from the ‘normal’. What society deems desirable; however logical, the individual must desire as well. Individuals are constantly affected by the sometimes silent, but always prevalent pressures to buy, reshape and realign themselves back into the collective, popular narrative.
It’s rather difficult, talking about a trip as…small-scaled and comparatively mundane as this, especially considering how the original intent was for me to go and visit a dentist there and yank out two of my misbehaving wisdom teeth. Nasty business.
However, in considering that during the two weeks while the right side of my mouth burnt like lava, there isn’t much for me to do in terms of relaxation, pleasure through eating (my personal favourite pastime outside of watching anime) and doing the usual things you would do whilst vacationing overseas. Instead, I had some time to think about things, as I sat back and observed this culture that I had partially left behind.
If I haven’t made it clear yet: yes, I am a Chinese-Australian, born and raised in China, but grew past the drinking age in the land down under (and yeah, the legal age is 18 down here, so SUCK IT America). I suppose it is time for me to go back there, and breathe in some of that countryside air again. I will be visiting my Dad; who’s currently living in Chongqing. I will also be dropping by at my old childhood village near Xichang and see how the old folks there are doing, before I swing around to Chengdu to visit my grandparents, second uncle and aunt for a bit. Also arranged to get my wisdom teeth removed there. Two birds with one stone.
So it has been a blast, coming to grips with this whole blogging thing, it is perhaps the most fun I’ve had when I shut myself in my own room for hours on end (second only to- never mind. Read on). I’ve enjoyed the analytical and creative freedom, as I poured all my technical jargons and self-indulgent observational skills into series thesis and sarcasm-filled impressions.
Ever since the founding of this humble blog of mine, I’ve been meaning to do a ‘otaku lair’ post, or adding a page dedicated to showing off my merch, since that’s what people do. I find checking out other people’s collections to be a gratifying thing, in terms of find comradery in the fandom, so me writing and showing off my own would mean similar feelings of self-reassurance, in terms of convincing myself, that “Hey! I’m not the only one spending hundreds on that adorable Holo figure, I’ll be fine!”
Well, it’s been about two weeks, since the bombardment of holidays. Needless to say, after spending to get a pile of presents into my close friends and families’ laps, some leftover dough was left for me to spend on myself. So enjoy, as I show off what I got as gifts from friends, and from my own wallet.
Shot and processed these images a while ago, but thought I would share it on here, to kinda commemorate the proper establishment of this blog.
Essentially, these are the best of a bunch of photos I took, intended on experimenting with Lightroom for some creative artistic results without distorting the original too much.
Had some fun playing with colour temperature, selective focus and post-process adjustments.
Another little experiment on selective focusing, utilising the light-bending nature of water in a glass. Also achieved some interesting textures and colour combinations with certain areas left B&W.
Now you have a basic idea of how my mind works with space and how it triggers creativity: anything to do with light distortions, incidental placings of objects and colours can be subjects of my images. Of course, I do have my share of love for grand landscapes and architecture, but sometimes, little things are interesting, too.